Hot Property: This is How Pittsburgh Real Estate Fared in 2021
Plus, columnist Rosa Colucci shares some of her favorite homes listed for sale after a roller coaster year in buying and selling.
As a roller-coaster year of home buying draws to a close, buyers in Pittsburgh are taking a deep breath after experiencing what it’s like to live in a heated real estate market.
While the mid-year buying frenzy is over, it’s not gone. Experts at Realtor.com released their 2022 housing forecast, which predicts that, although the market will be slowing down from the spring 2021 frenzy, “Prices will stay high, inventory will remain tight and mortgage rates will continue to rise.”
Mortgage rates are projected to settle in at a nice 3.6%. However, rent will continue to rise, with inflation driving renters to buy, especially in the Pittsburgh market where housing prices remain more affordable than in other parts of the country.
But, even as inflation hits everyday goods and takes a bigger bite out of our wallets, there’s no need to fret; Unemployment continues to trend down to near 4%, pay rates are growing and companies are offering larger bonuses to entice employees to work there. That, combined with remote work, will see a group of buyers heading for the suburbs — and even rural areas — as the 9-to-5 office grind becomes a thing of the past.
In Pittsburgh, new home construction continues to stay strong, with local and national builders breaking ground on everything from townhouses in the $250,000 range to patio homes that accommodate multi-generational living to abundant farmhouse-style luxury builds in the $850,000+ category.
Of course, there also are a lot of condos going up within city limits, including this year’s Pittsburgh Magazine Ultimate House at Lawrenceville Lofts (Public tours run Jan. 14-23). More lofts are being built in the Strip District, with Forte Pittsburgh among the mix breaking ground in 2022.
Hot Property Favorites from 2021
Remember these? As we enter 2022, we’re looking back at some of our favorite houses listed for sale in 2021. Most of our reader favorites were homes filled with charm, style and lots of owner sweat-equity.
At the top of that list was this Cape Cod in Penn Hills that went up for sale in August. Owner Angela Hess, with a strong assist from her dad, gave the home’s dowdy clinker-brick exterior a radical makeover, limewashing it into a social media star that had readers talking.
Inside, the transformation was no less stunning — and made for a quick sale. Featuring a reconfigured interior space, plus new finishes, bathrooms and kitchens, the house was under contract two days before we published our story.
Lastly, we close out this year with the grand Pittsburgh home that kicked off this column in the first place; King’s Estate in Highland Park is still on the market and awaiting the right buyer.
The 22-room, Second Empire-style mansion was brought back to life by Dr. Frank Brown and his wife, Maura, after they bought the manse from the city 26 years ago. Their museum-quality restoration is one of the finest in the nation, if not the world. Listed for $3.28 million, it almost seems like a steal when you compare it to price tags for some of the new homes going up for sale around the area.
Perhaps in 2022 this grand old home will finally find a new owner to love it as much as we do.
Drawing on her years of experience covering the region’s real estate industry, Rosa Colucci offers Hot Property, an inside look into unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh-area home. And four times a year, Hot Property gives an in-depth look at the region’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking housing prices and sales and detailing where the hot properties can be found. Rosa can be reached at email@example.com.